ATLANTA (Feb. 5, 2010) – Major legislation was proposed this week to overhaul Georgia’s property tax system. Currently we have an outdated and ineffective system that is not serving the citizens of Georgia as it is intended. The ultimate goal is to put in place a fair, efficient and reliable property tax system. We need to increase public confidence in the Georgia’s state and local property tax systems. Georgians have done their job as citizens and made us aware of the broken system. We must now do our job and fix the system.
One of the biggest problems is that the system is based on human assessment of value that is rampant with error, politics, and inaccuracies. The bottom line is that Georgians deserve better. This particular piece of legislation is a result of much testimony highlighting the inefficiencies and errors of the property tax system.
The two biggest concerns we heard from citizens is subjectivity of the process and lack of clarity in the appeal process. Many Georgians stated the inconsistencies of tax assessors who didn’t even enter their homes or take into account the actual market price of their homes. They all suggested restructuring the law to acknowledge fair market values.
Many also noted the lack of transparency and the convoluted nature of the process. Citizens have had their requests for appeal turned down simply because they missed a deadline they didn’t know existed.
This is unacceptable. We must have a system in place that we can trust to work effectively. We will work to ensure the people of Georgia get a fair, efficient and reliable property tax system in Georgia.
Proactive changes, as a result of the overhaul to the assessment and appeals system, include year-round assessment appeals, all comparable sales (including foreclosures and banks sales) must be applied, and the “view factor” will be eliminated as a way to determine value. The proposed changes to assessments and appeals relieve burdens from property owners, but also achieves efficiency in the process.
As always, I am proud to serve my constituents of the 30th district of Georgia and continue to work on your behalf on a daily basis. We face significant challenges this year, but I am confident that we will overcome them to ensure Georgia can thrive for the future of our children and grandchildren.
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Sen. Bill Hamrick serves as Chairman of the Banking and Financial Institutions Committee. He represents the 30th Senate District which includes portions of Carroll, Douglas, and Paulding counties. He may be reached at 404.656.0036 or via e-mail at email@example.com.